Posts Tagged ‘event planner’
Event and wedding planning is a tough sell. You have to get noticed in order to get clients. Many new and aspiring event/wedding planners struggle with this area of the business… even more than the actual planning itself!
In this series, we’ll look at the different requirements to building a professional brand, marketing yourself to clients, and forging beneficial relationships with vendors.
Part 1: The Basics
Before you even think of marketing yourself, there’s a lot of work to be done. You wouldn’t sell a half-baked cake, would you? Nor should you rush into marketing before having all the pieces of your business squarely in place. If you fail at this first step, you’ll probably end up leaving clients with a bad taste for your business.
Before you can start selling to clients, you have to know what they want. Too many event/wedding planners try to corner a market that doesn’t exist. For example, selling beautifully elegant, extravagant and costly weddings to low-income rural communities probably doesn’t have a great chance of succeeding.
Do you work in a busy metropolitan or in a small close-knit community? Either way, you’ll want to research what your clientele wants in a wedding and event planner.
If you’re in a large city, there are probably many options for you to choose from. Your challenge will be how to stand out from your competition. Make a list of all event and wedding planners in your area, and what their marketing angles are. You might spot a gap in the market that clients would like filled. You can then survey the community and see what they think of your ideas.
Event/Wedding planners in small towns or rural areas have a different challenge. Residents in these areas probably aren’t used to the idea of hiring a wedding/event planner. In these cases, you might want to focus on a specific passion the community shares. For example, is the community particularly proud of a local sporting team? Is there an annual festival everyone participates in? Do all residents share a similar cultural or religious background? Becoming a community expert might be a fun way to break into the market and attract some outside attention as well.
What’s in a Name?
It’s amazing how much the name of your business matters. Making a mistake at this stage can alienate your clientele before they get a chance to know you.
You have two options: Market yourself as an individual (i.e. Jane Doe, IEWP™) or come up with a name for your business. Here are a few considerations:
– If you have a name that’s difficult to pronounce, you should probably come up with a business name that’s easier on the tongue. It might be unfair, but some clients will avoid names they don’t understand, for fear of insulting you by mispronouncing it.
– If you come up with a business name, make sure it resonates with your target clientele.
– Your business name shouldn’t make people think. If you have to explain what it means, you risk confusing clients before they even walk through the door.
– If the business name is too long, shorten it. There’s nothing wrong with having different business names for legal vs. marketing use. Example: QC stands for “Quality of Course, Inc.” Which is the name of the parent company. Imagine if the school were called “Quality of Course Event Planning”. Doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue!
– Do your Research! Choose a business name that isn’t easily confused with a consumer product, another business, a competitor, etc. If you make a list of 10 possible business names, odds are 5-7 of them will be thrown out at this point.
– Make sure your business name can be registered, and that you can secure a domain name (website address) that makes sense. If you’re unable to buy [your business name].com (most are pretty cheap), then you’ll probably want to go back to the drawing board.
A quick note about websites: We’ll discuss “building your website” in the following section. But when choosing your business name, consider that easy and common “Keywords” in a business name (like “event planner” or “wedding planning” for example) will help clients remember you and easily find you online.
After you’ve settled on a solid business plan and a name for your business, then you’ll be ready to move on to part 2 of this series: building your brand. Tune in on Wednesday, May 21st for more business advice!
Are you looking to start an event and wedding planning business? All of QC’s Event and Wedding Planning Courses come with our “Achieving Business Success” DVD series that offers much more detailed, step-by-step instructions on how to launch a successful business! Learn more here.
The career of an event planner involves a lot of change, adapting, planning, consulting, and sometimes even chaos. While it can be incredibly glamorous and rewarding, there’s more to it than just that. In this post, we’ll be discussing the job description of an event planner and what you can expect as far as working conditions, salary, and career path go.
The education requirements to be an event planner are minimal. Often, you don’t require any sort of formal training to get started in the industry. With that being said, it can be very helpful to have some training and experience prior to applying. QC Event School offers a comprehensive at-home Event Planning course that will provide you with the practical know-how and business savvy you need to stand apart from your competitors and land the job you want. Some people prefer to complete associates degrees (2-3 year college program), but it can be a little costly.
To get started in the event planning industry, it’s a good idea to have a grasp on the event planning process, current trends, and an idea of the many vendors with which an event planner works. Think: florists, caterers, entertainers, venues, decor specialists, etc. While you don’t necessarily have to have any hands-on experience to get started, it helps to have a certain level of understanding. We often suggest picking up a couple of books, tuning into a few TV shows, and talking to friends or family members who have worked with an event planner in the past.
The average annual salary of an event planner is typically between $45,000 and $70,000, although this largely depends on region and market demand. In entertainment hubs such as LA, NYC, London, Paris, or Tokyo, an event planner can make much, much more. The majority of event planners are paid hourly or per contract, unless they work for a corporation or hospitality business as the on-staff planner. In these cases, they’re generally salaried and receive other job perks such as benefits, vacation, and have their taxes automatically deducted by the employer.
Sample Career Path
The sample career path of an event planner is one that’s hard to really nail down, but typically looks something like this:
Working towards professional certification
Assisting an established event planner or working as an intern at a business in the events industry
Working as a junior event planner or spending time beginning your own business and building client list
Working as a senior event planner or creative director within a business, or enjoying a now more profitable business of your own with a good sized client list
Working in a director-type role within an event planning business or moving to a more supervisory/management role in your own business, with other employees handling much of the hands-on work
The working conditions of an event planner are largely what you make them. Most event planners work out of their own homes for the beginning of their career, and rent or purchase office space later on. If you’re working for a business, it’s likely you’ll have a cubicle or small office within the hotel or business from which you’ll work. You’ll often be hitting the road to visit with vendors, meet with clients, and will have a varied and existing schedule. Much of your time will be spent on-the-go. The career of an event planner can be very stressful at times, and is not for someone who easily gets hot headed or experiences difficulty when it comes to communicating ideas or arguments.
The duties of an event planner range from meeting with prospective clients for consultations and planning an event’s purpose and layout to coordinating with vendors, managing invitee list, securing sponsorships for events and more. An event planner will often meet with a designer or printer to collaborate on programs, invitations, and other printed materials. They’ll also negotiate and secure vendors, create and work within a budget, go to tastings and decide on menu and food, manage correspondence between vendors and client, coordinate event on the day-of, keep track of all paperwork and payment due dates, and more. It’s a very involved job and requires time management skills and organization.
If you’re interested in pursuing a career in event planning, start now with QC Event School. Their Event Planning course will help you get started straight away. You’ll love learning from their at-home study program, receiving your personal tutor’s audio feedback, and will be proud to display your beautiful certificate of completion.
The event industry can be an amazing field to work in. It’s fast paced, ever-changing, creative, and fun! Because it’s such a great field to work in we tend to over-schedule and over-commit our time in a seemingly never-ending quest for success, and it can sometimes overshadow our home lives. We are never without our smart phones and computers, which can take a serious toll on our families and friends.
If this all sounds familiar than it may be time to stop and re-evaluate your priorities. We have some quick tips for maintaining a great family life while still growing a successful business. Because you can do it all with some good old fashioned time management.
If you’ve so far been going it alone, it might be time to hire a bit of occasional help. Your business can continue expanding but you can spread out the workload between two or three people. Think about hiring an intern. There are swarms of college students out there just waiting to snatch up a co-op position in their field of choice. You’ll be amazed at how much of your time is freed up when you don’t have to answer phone calls or waste time tidying up the office.
Be In The Moment
When you’re spending time with loved ones try and really be in the moment with them. Leave work at the office (or at the door of the office if you work from home) and turn off your phone to ensure you don’t waste any precious family time. Your clients can wait until the morning to receive a call back or a reply to an email. Try and dedicate at least two whole evenings a week to nurturing your relationships with loved ones. This is something you’ll never ever regret.
It’s Okay to Say No
Though we know it can be tempting, you probably shouldn’t accept every client who comes knocking at your door. As well, you don’t need to attend every industry event that you’re invited to. If you’re only attending an event because you feel obligated to, don’t go. Instead spend that time with the important people in your life.
Your clients deserve the best from you, but so do your loved ones. It’s possible to give it to both, it can just take some careful planning and prioritizing!
Do you have any time management tips of your own? We’d love for you to share them with us in a comment below!
Are you considering a career as an event coordinator? There are so many reasons to take your place in this growing industry; we’ve put together just a few to see if this job is right for you.
You enjoy working with people
As an event coordinator, you will meet and form relationships with new people each and every day. And it’s not just the clients you’ll be working with. You also need to secure strong relationships with vendors so that you can create a high-quality event on any budget. This job is all about networking.
You don’t like to stay still
This job can be different every single day, and you have to be prepared to change with it. You’ll need to be able to think outside the box and change your techniques based on the needs of the individual client. Are you up for the challenge?
You appreciate good style
As an event coordinator, your clients will expect you to be up-to-date on the latest trends and use them creatively in the events you plan. Think gorgeous color palettes, modern decor, and interesting venues – all tools you’ll need to have in your roster as the coordinator.
You’re flexible, and can think on your feet
Most of your job will be about preparation before the big day comes. However, as the event is taking place, you need to be prepared for any number of things to go wrong. If you’re able to keep a cool head under this kind of pressure, this could definitely be a career for you.
If this sounds like you, then it might be time to take the first steps. Enroll in QC Event School’s Event Planning course and gain all the skills you’ll need to get started in the wonderful world of event coordinating!
Even if you’re not yet working as an event planner, you should definitely start browsing online job postings to get a feel for the demand of jobs in your area, and what skills employers are looking for. It’s important to educate yourself not only on event planning, but also on your local and regional industry – you need to know what options are available for you when the time comes. That’s why we’re posting this example event planner job description, to give you an idea of what an employer is looking for.
Position: Assistant Events Coordinator
This individual will help to coordinate up to 200 annual events, alongside the Event Coordinator. You have a highly motivated, take-charge personality, good customer service and ability to build relationships with clients and vendors, and excellent organization skills.
- Negotiate vendor contracts, book venues, arrange catering services, order necessary equipment, and supervise event decorating.
- Manage day-of set-up tasks and take-down for events.
- Provide promotional materials, gift bags, registration lists, name-tags, and any necessary paraphernalia for conference attendees.
- Analyze effectiveness of events to improve future projects.
- Prepare budgets
- Create and manage invoices and contracts
- Organize schedules and appointments with clients, staff, and vendors
- Excellent oral and written communication skills
- High level of professionalism
- Ability to work independently
- Superior customer service skills
- Relevant event planning training
- Computer literacy in Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint is a must
Does this sound like viable job for you? Then you’ve made the right choice in pursuing a career in event planning. For top industry training, consider taking a course with QC Event School. It’s the first step to an exciting future!
Image via mbahighway.com